Stories of Hope Newsletter

Christmas Joy for Jennifer and Johanna

Jennifer, 38, firmly believes that if she wasn’t at Hope Ministries this Christmas, she’d either be in jail . . . or dead.  “At the rate I was drinking, it could’ve killed me,” she says. “My whole life was chaotic.”

Jennifer took her first drink at the age of 16. “It was a way to numb everything,” she remembers. “My dad abused me daily—physically. I didn’t want to feel. I didn’t want to think about it. I didn’t want to deal with it.”

Eventually her father “left for work one day and didn’t come back.” But the pain he’d inflicted stayed with her into adulthood. She went through stints of “couch-surfing”—living with whatever friend or relative would take her in—and struggled to make ends meet.

“Sometimes I’d run out of food,” she remembers. “I’d have to go to my neighbors and see if they could help me out. It was very, very hard.”

But the worst part was the impact on her daughter Johanna, 14, who has spent time in and out of foster care. “I wanted stability for both of us,” says Jennifer. “I needed a new lease on life and I wanted to learn the right way to live so I could provide for my daughter.”

Which is why Jennifer came to our Hope Center for Women and Children last January.

“I was scared. It was a new place. But the longer I stayed here, the more comfortable I got. I realized that these people actually care about us.”

Through life skills classes, job readiness training and counseling, Jennifer is learning the skills she needs to rebuild her life and provide for her daughter. She  recently celebrated one year of sobriety and she’s looking forward to spending Christmas at Hope Center with Johanna.

She and Johanna are growing closer, too, although Jennifer admits there are still hard days. But what gets her through those days is leaning on God’s love and grace.

“The best thing about being at Hope Center is the God-centered teaching. And the grace. Before I came to Hope Ministries, I was lost. But now . . . I am definitely found.”

To read Hope Ministries’ latest newsletter, click here.

Help other people like Jennifer…

Jennifer’s hope has been restored and your prayers and financial gifts to Hope Ministries helped make it possible. Your ongoing support will continue to bless her and so many others!

Holiday 2019

Download the PDF

Fall 2019

Download the PDF

Summer 2019

Download the PDF

Spring 2019

Download the PDF

Easter 2019

Download the PDF

Holiday 2018

Download the PDF

YOU can give hope!

YOU can give hope!

YOU can give hope!

By partnering with us, you'll help offer men, women and children the
solutions that give hope and change lives through God's love.

By partnering with us, you'll help offer men, women
and children the solutions that give hope
and change lives through God's love.

By partnering with us, you'll help offer men, women
and children the solutions that give hope
and change lives through God's love.

Stories You’ll Love!

Stay updated on current happenings at Hope Ministries — and help spread the word about our work giving hope and changing lives in Central Iowa.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.